I am horrified to report that my brother almost accidentally killed his little girl and his son this weekend when his rifle fired accidentally.
I do not like to talk about personal things at all--and this is very personal--but in light of some discussions here about gun responsibility, I would like to share what happened this Saturday.
Note that this is not a gun control diary, especially because what happened has nothing to do with that. This is a cautionary story about what happens extremely frequently and which many people try to hide or minimize.
Saturday, my brother took his two kids to their hunting cottage to hunt turkey. Because they were going to be hunting early the next morning a long way from the cottage, he decided to put up a tent and camp out closer to the hunting location. My brother is a member of the NRA, has a permit to carry a concealed weapon (he has a 9mm handgun), has hunted since he and I were little kids, and is a sober, educated, loving and responsible man.
Saturday night, after they were in bed, he decided to lean one of the rifles up against a root that was protruding from under the tent floor. Sometime after they were asleep, the gun was jostled by one of them, and it fell to the floor and discharged. The barrel of the gun was facing away from the bodies of his children, for which I know we are all as grateful as for anything in our lives.
I cannot explain why he left a round in the rifle. I just cannot explain it.
I hear all the time about how responsible people are, and how confident so many are in their own flawless care around guns. If you are that confident about your responsibility, you are irresponsible.
People: be more freaking careful. Guns ARE a menace, and they need to be treated as such.
Update: several commenters have stated that rifles are not used for turkey and that turkey season isn't open and that my story is suspicious: these commenters are mislead by their own overconfidence in their knowledge and they misfired.